Cyclone Ului has them all guessing

AUTHORITIES should know by today whether Cyclone Ului is likely to make landfall or head out to sea.

Gympie Region Mayor Ron Dyne is urging residents to prepare early, adding that the local disaster management committee will meet on Friday to clarify final preparations for the region.

Recent heavy rains followed by persistent showers have waterlogged the ground and the Mary River has still not returned to a normal flow, which means another drenching and the region could flood again very quickly, he said.

Cr Dyne said the region’s roads had been affected by the adverse weather and while there was a concerted effort to get them repaired, more rain would only compound the damage.

The Bureau of Meteorology expects Ului, which is currently a category four cyclone, to cross the coast somewhere between Bowen and Gladstone on Saturday or Sunday.

Swells of between eight and 10 metres are likely, however that will depend on exactly where it hits and its intensity, the bureau says.

Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) is also asking all residents in the North Coast Region to consider their cyclone preparations.

EMQ Regional Director for North Coast Region Peter Twomey says people should use this time to prepare.

“At this stage we are not certain of where the cyclone may impact if it does hit, which makes it vitally important that everyone is prepared for the possibility of impact,” he said yesterday.

“At the very least people should use this opportunity to review their preparations and emergency kits to make sure everything is up to date should it be needed.

“It is also important that people stock up on non-perishable foods, water and medication so that families are confident they have enough supplies for several days.

“Is your property prepared and does your family know what to do if a cyclone warning is issued?

“If not please take the time to look at how you can protect your family.”

Mr Twomey said typically severe weather events could cause damage to trees and structures, result in water inundation and, in extreme circumstances, isolation from public services.

“Being prepared makes sense but many of us do not take the important steps to make sure we are ready,” he said.

Gympie Times

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